Asphalt is so universal these days that we hardly even notice it – unless, of course, those lane closures make the commute more difficult. The barrage of road construction crews during the hot New Jersey summers can be frustrating indeed – but asphalt doesn’t last forever, especially when it’s been subjected to heavy traffic and extreme elements. That’s why crews are constantly out there patching it up, or milling old material and putting in fresh installations.
The reason asphalt is used for so many public roads (the vast majority in the whole country, in fact) is that it’s relatively affordable and incredibly strong for the price point. It allows state and municipal governments to pave huge stretches of road at a reasonable cost, and when the installation is done correctly, the asphalt should stand up to years of abuse before any significant repairs become necessary.
You probably already knew these things – but here are some things you probably didn’t know about asphalt.
1. It leads to quieter driving and better fuel economy
One of the great strengths of asphalt is that it creates such a smooth surface. This reduces friction with automobile tires, and ultimately gives drivers better gas mileage than concrete or other types of pavement. Also, the experience of driving becomes a lot quieter and smoother thanks to asphalt.
2. It’s recyclable
Actually, to say that asphalt is recyclable is an understatement. It’s one of the most recyclable materials out there, and nearly 100% of old asphalt is milled and recycled into fresh new material. This gives asphalt a strong environmental profile, in addition to being one of the strongest and most durable types of pavement in the world. It’s also worth mentioning that other materials are routinely recycled into asphalt mixtures. These include glass, shingles, and used tires. Asphalt is a great way to recycle these materials into something useful, and the asphalt itself will one day be recycled and turned into new asphalt.
3. It gives better traction
We’ve already mentioned the fuel economy and noise reduction benefits of asphalt roads – but asphalt has another important quality, which is that it allows superior traction. This effectively reduces the number of accident and mishaps that occur, and results in a safer driving situation for everyone.
4. There are porous varieties of asphalt
Asphalt is naturally porous, but it’s possible to make it even more porous. This is done professionally in certain situations, in order to provide better drainage and storm water management. The ability to change the mixture and constitution of asphalt if a large part of what makes it so useful and diverse.
Who’s laying your asphalt?
Asphalt is not all the same – there are different mixtures, and different qualities of asphalt to consider. The contractors who install asphalt are also different, and the spectrum of quality can be very wide in some places. That’s why it pays to do your homework and find out who has the best reputation, and who is known for delivering the best results. Then you can relax, knowing that you’ll get the most out of your investment.